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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Worth Reading

Here's a retired foreign policy pro assessing the administration's recent spokesperson on Libyan and other blow-ups:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Government Responds

Having just watched the evening news re the blowup in the Middle East, I've decided I need to vent. This administration's responses to petty provocations to the Muslim world first by a backwoods preacher and now by some disgruntled Coptic immigrants (in the film _Innocence of Muslims_) leave me deeply disturbed.

It took this administration until Thursday before it mentioned Americans' First Amendment right to express themselves,
no matter how crudely. Why wasn't this tack taken in the Terry Jones kerfuffle? Why did this administration choose to blow such an obscure person into such prominence over the burning of a Qur'an? For Pete's sake, are they suggesting that we Christians now have the right to be "understood" if we burn down a few TV and movie studios over the nightly insults we get from the entertainment industry? I dare hope not!

Hillary Clinton should've clearly told the Muslim world that the same First Amendment that protects an Imam's right to call the Jews "relatives of apes and pigs" (it's there in Sura 2:65 or thereabouts and repeated again in Sura 7)--surely offensive to many of us, Jewish or not--Bill Maher's right to say downright nasty things about his Catholic upbringing (and I am not a RC), also protects Terry Jones' right to burn a Qur'an (which, BTW, is an act of which I do not approve) and a bunch of Copts' right to let out their true feelings about the majority religion of their Old Country when they're safe here in the USA. Mrs Clinton also ought to tell the Islamic world--where Christian girls are often kidnapped and raped in Egypt; Christian and Hindu girls meet the same treatment in Pakistan; where the 5% of the Bangladeshi population that is non-Muslim female experiences 98% of the rapes (and not from their own men)--that if it wants the respect of the rest of us, it really needs to clean up its own act vis-a-vis its religious minorities.

The prominence which both the administration and the MSM give to the justly obscure propagators of these supposed "insults" to Islam further suggests that, for supposed reasons of "the greater good" that our media and political elite would really like the First Amendment to go away. The tinny quality of Mrs. Clinton's Thursday remarks versus the strident tones attacking the film _Innocence of Muslims_ immediately after the assassination of Ambassador Stevens (may God grant his family comfort in this time of mourning) makes me sweat that perhaps we will see a large assault on the First Amendment at home.
Now, I will admit that I believe that the timing of the attacks is how Qaida and its affiliates are telling the world that they are still there.  Hence, I accept that these attacks are a warning that terrorism's war on us is not going to wind down--much as we would like to wind down our end of the matter.  I would also hate to see the American public respond to Islamic provocations in the manner chosen by the Islamic street.  But the response to this kind of trouble is not to suddenly become so solicitous of Muslim sensitivities that we become their Dhimmi.

Our elite has shown itself adept at dropping the ball on a possible teaching moment. Let's hope it isn't the harbinger of something truly sinister on the home front.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take Care in Praying

Not only should we be careful about what we pray for--lest we get it--but also about how we pray for it. 

Recently, people have been spreading a poster urging us to pray for President Obama, with the citation Psalm 109:8 under it.

While I would like to see Mr. Obama removed from office in November, I am just a bit queasy about using Psalm 109:8 as the text.

Psalm 109:8b--"Let another man take his place"--conflated with Psalm 69:25 is a text that Simon Peter specifically applied to Judas Iscariot:

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said...Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was to guide them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling down headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out, And it was known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms,
Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take.
Wherefore of these men which have companies with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias...And they gave forth their lots: and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:15-26).

While I count myself with those who would really like to see Obama's days in office lessened and someone else in the Oval Office, I'm yet another one who might feel just a little bit queasy about applying Psalm 109:8 to Obama. Since the whole of Psalm 109:8 (not the portion of the verse which Peter conflated with another) says "Let his days be few and another take his place", some might take it as a call for--God forbid--assassination or something other than our usual, Constitutional means of removing a President. Further, Psalm 109 is an imprecatory Psalm full of curses against those who speak against the Lord's Anointed (David, and his much greater descendant Jesus) with a lying tongue. It's pretty strong stuff, and while I accept that there are those who deserve all the curses it lists, I'd like to think that Mr. Obama is not quite in that category. This may be why there are a lot of folks who feel queasy about such a slogan.
Further, I also accept the charge Paul lays on us in I Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for all men, especially those in authority ("that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives"). My prayer is always for their receiving wisdom to govern properly and that they may enjoy the grace of repentance unto life (what the old Scots Presbyterian divines called conversion).

And, since I mentioned the old Scots divines, I say a hearty "Amen" to their acceptance of Augustine's Just War Theory and even their teaching that rebellion against lawless governments is acceptable. However, peace accompanied with justice and liberty is always better.

This being said, I'm guessing that the folks at People's Cube and elsewhere pushing "Pray for Obama, Ps. 109:8", mean it in the sense that they want him beaten this November and out come January 20.  If so, I'm fine with it.  But, for the reasons given above, I wonder if there might not be a better verse somewhere else.